Equal Community Investment throughout San Diego

October 21, 2013

For far too long, the City of San Diego has neglected many of its communities. There is a disparity in funding and a lack of critical investments in public safety, community services and road repairs. As mayor, Kevin Faulconer will be committed to creating a better quality of life and economic opportunities in all of San Diego’s communities—starting with the our most neglected neighborhoods. To enhance the quality for all San Diegans, Faulconer’s 3-point plan focuses on:

Safe and strong neighborhoods with investment in public safety.
Enhanced educational opportunities at City libraries and recreation centers.
Equal investment in road repairs, streetlights, public safety facilities and safe sidewalks for all San Diego communities.

Step 1: Safe and Strong Neighborhoods with Investment in Public Safety

Rebuild the San Diego Police Department by improving police recruitment and retention.All San Diegans deserve to feel safe in their community. San Diego must be a City where children can safely walk to school. Adequate police staffing is critical to creating safe neighborhoods. Faulconer recently released a comprehensive 3-point plan to keep the San Diego Police Department fully staffed and adequately funded to protect all our familiesAs mayor, Kevin Faulconer will rebuild the San Diego Police Department so that every San Diego family, regardless of where they live, can safely walk our streets.
Protecting our youth by proactively addressing gang violence. Gang violence is a reality that many of our communities face on a daily basis. Young men and women join gangs when opportunities for the future seem unattainable. We must proactively provide the support and services our communities need so, that no child ever turns to a gang to feel safe. The Police Department’s gang suppression unit has been adversely impacted by past budget reductions. Many experienced officers, who used to be assigned to proactively research gang activities and patterns to prevent violence before it occurred, are taken off gang patrol and frequently reassigned to fill immediate patrol needs. . As mayor, Kevin Faulconer will invest in rebuilding the Police Department’s gang suppression unit, and will prioritize deployment in the neighborhoods most heavily impacted by gang violence.
Improve emergency response times in all communities.It is unconscionable that some communities are at greater risk for delayed emergency response times. Seconds can determine the difference between life and death. The City is not consistently meeting its goals for emergency response times, with the greatest risk for delayed responses in the City’s most urban neighborhoods. Today, there is a greater risk that it will take longer for a fire truck to reach your home if you live in Southeastern San Diego. It is the City’s moral obligation to provide equitable emergency services to every community. Faulconer is committed to ensuring San Diegans can rely on quick emergency response times, regardless of the community in which they live.

The Citygate report, a comprehensive study of San Diego’s Fire-Rescue needs, helped the City create a plan to improve emergency response times in these communities and recommends adding five new stations to improve response times. The City must explore innovative solutions to better leverage resources to make immediate progress in reducing emergency response times, such as constructing a temporary fire station in the Skyline community. The City owns this property and could create a fast response squad with this smaller investment.

According to a 2012 audit report, 85 percent of emergency calls in Southeastern San Diego are for medical needs. Increasing the number of ambulances on the streets to respond to medical calls is viable solution in reducing the emergency response times and could be achieved at a lower cost than the construction of new fire stations. Escondido has used this innovative approach. Faulconer is committed to working with our public safety officers to find solutions.

The next mayor must make improving emergency response times a priority. As mayor, Kevin Faulconer will ensure that response times are improved in all neighborhoods and that the dangerous gap in response times between communities is fully closed by 2016..

Read more about Faulconer's plan to rebuild San Diego.

Step 2: Enhanced Educational Opportunities

Expanded after school programs at libraries and recreation centers. Even in the face of the most severe budget cuts, Faulconer stood up and was successful in fighting library and recreation center closures. In our most neglected communities, libraries and recreational centers are a catalyst to transform the lives of at-risk youth. They can be the difference between educational success and dropping out of school. The City must do a better job leveraging its resources by collaborating with the San Diego Unified School District to provide additional after school opportunities for youth through libraries and recreation centers. As mayor, Kevin Faulconer will pursue joint-use agreements with the school district and will make it a budget priority to increase library and recreation center hours so that our children have access to a safe and productive environment after school.
Prioritize Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) educational opportunities and internships for at risk youth. Education is the most important tool in a young person’s life to achieve economic success and to break the cycle of poverty. Valuable work experience as an intern is often not possible for students who must work. Faulconer will work with local educational programs, such as the Workforce Partnership and federal job training programs such as Jobs Corps, to expand access to technology and engineering job training programs and internships available for at-risk youth so that students have access to the tools they need to succeed. For example, CONNECT2Careers, a program created through the Workforce Partnership in collaboration with City of San Diego, helps prepare high school students to enter these in-demand fields by providing meaningful summer work experiences. As mayor, Kevin Faulconer will increase internship and work opportunities available for at-risk youth with the annual goal of 2,500 summer jobs by the year 2016 to help prepare them for a brighter future.

Learn more about Faulconer’s plan to grow San Diego’s Economy through education and job creation.

Step 3: Equal investment in road repairs, streetlights, public safety facilities and safe sidewalks for all San Diego communities.

Create safe routes to schools. Decades of inequity and lack of investment has created neighborhoods with inadequate street lights and sidewalks. Many of the San Diego’s urban communities are lacking basic infrastructure such as safe sidewalks and functioning street lights. Children are forced to walk to and from school in the dark, without safe sidewalks and adequately lit streets. Parents should feel comfortable that their children can safely walk to and from school. There is no greater priority for City government than public safety. Faulconer is committed to creating safe routes to schools, starting in our most neglected and neglected communities. As mayor, Kevin Faulconer will ensure the City equally invests in all of San Diego’s communities, and that our most neglected neighborhoods are prioritized first.
Redevelopment through economic growth policies. Economic opportunity can revitalize and transform individual lives and entire communities. Faulconer believes San Diego’s southern communities provide some of the greatest opportunities for business investment and economic growth. The California redevelopment program used to provide the City tools to attract business and revitalize communities. While this funding source is no longer available, Faulconer has not lost his resolve to find innovative solutions to beautify our neighborhoods. Faulconer believes the best opportunities for urban renewal are possible by increasing efforts to secure federal New Market Tax Credits, innovative public-private partnerships, and streamlining the entitlement process. As mayor, Kevin Faulconer will add grant writers to help San Diego win economic growth funding, with the goal of bringing an equal level of investment and resources to all San Diego communities.

Read more about Faulconer’s plan to rebuild the San Diego Police Department.

Kevin Faulconer believes it is time to break the historical pattern of underinvesting and neglecting neighborhoods. A lack in basic infrastructure—the installation and maintenance of street lights, the construction of sidewalks where dirt paths exist now, and the need for a greater investment in public safety—has gone largely unanswered.

As mayor, Kevin Faulconer will invest in all of San Diego’s communities from Rancho Bernardo to San Ysidro – starting in our most neglected neighborhoods. Every community will have adequate police staffing to keep families safe, after school programs to provide safe places for children to play and learn, and equitable funding for streetlights and critical neighborhood services. It is time our vision for the future of San Diego includes every San Diegan.

Kevin Faulconer
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